A black cow standing in the grass near trees.

Farm History

The Land

Daystar Farms celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2023. In November 1992, the Dean family purchased 310 acres of land in Morriston, Florida, just 12 miles west of Ocala.   The idea of a Dean family cattle ranch was birthed much earlier. Brothers Ed and Jon Dean remembered fondly those days when they were young, traveling with their mother and father to visit their Kentucky kinfolk near Harrisburg, Kentucky. Jon and Ed’s dad, Horace, had two cousins, C.D. and Herbert Ransdell, who had adjoining farms that they, as brothers, operated as one dairy operation. Ed and Jon always thought it would be great if someday they too could own a farm together. Ed’s sons, Tim and Mike Dean, were also enthusiastic about the idea.

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An Eventful Saturday

Following the closing on the property, on a cool Saturday fall morning, Jon and his wife, Sue, along with Ed and his two sons, Tim and Mike, decided to look over the property to see what they had purchased. Due to the heavily forested growth on the property, they had not been able to explore what they had purchased. That Saturday morning was memorable because it was an exciting new day of opportunity as the group proceeded on foot in the west 100 acres. As the fivesome strolled through the woods northward, looking for the property boundary, Mike Dean decided to pick up a stick to use as a walking stick. He went over to a large pine tree and bent over to pick up the perfect walking stick, when he suddenly came face to face with a six-foot rattlesnake curled up next to the pine tree. The snake was motionless, and the rays of sunlight fell on the big rattler on that very cool Saturday morning.

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A group of black cows in the grass.
A black cow standing in the grass with horns.

The Angus Choice

As work on the improvements began in earnest, the Dean family thoroughly researched all the different purebred breeds of cattle. Several visits to other purebred operations were undertaken. After much prayer and consideration, the Dean family decided that registered, purebred Black Angus cattle would be their choice.

The person who was most instrumental in helping the Deans get established in the Angus purebred business was Mr. Leroy Baldwin of Baldwin Angus Ranch in Ocala, Florida. Leroy Baldwin had been in the purebred Angus business since 1942 and had been the President of the Florida Angus Association and the Florida Cattlemen’s Association. Leroy knew more about Angus cattle than anybody.

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The Daystar Farms Legacy

Over thirty years later, the Purebred Angus breeding commitment and values adopted from Leroy Baldwin still govern the operation of Daystar Farms. Five generations of Deans have lived on Daystar Farms. Jon and Sue Dean built their house first. Ed and Sarah Dean also built their house on the farm, as did Tim and Mike Dean. Tim and his wife, Karin, raised three children on the farm: T.J., David, and Rachel. Rachel and her husband, Jim, have a daughter, Emelia. Mike and his wife, Kristin, raised their three children on the farm: Jackson, Eric, and Kendall. 

Ed and Sarah have two children from a first marriage, Shawn and Trevor, who, along with their children, love to visit the farm often. Shawn and her husband, Terry, have three daughters: Rachel and her husband, Chris, have five children, Braden, Caleb, Finley, Riley, and Colin; Katarina and her husband, Daniel, have two children, Aven and Amelia; and Morgan and her husband, Tyler, are expecting a son, Jacob Trevor.

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A group of cows in the grass near trees.
A tractor is parked in the middle of a field.

Life on the Farm

When you start from near zero, it's all uphill. That's how we started at Daystar Farms. Daystar Farms had 310 acres of woodland and pines planted when we bought it in 1992. We have cleared much of it and planted Tifton and Bermuda pastures and hay fields. We’ve built barns, pens, cattle handling facilities, feed troughs, and water lines and put in miles of fencing. We’ve built ponds and roads and spent a fair amount on the various tractors, loaders, discs, mowers, seeders, and balers necessary to make it all happen. It was quite an undertaking. But, the satisfaction we felt in our souls in bringing to fruition a real working Registered Angus Cattle operation, the feeling we get from being able to see new calves born every year, from smelling the fresh cut hay as it’s put up in the barn, and to see the land we have worked be transformed from a rough, somewhat wild, patch to a green, flourishing agriculture operation, makes us feel like we’ve accomplished something with a high purpose.

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